I had my first new belly dance class last night. Our teacher fuses tribal belly dance with other dance forms she is trained in, namely AfroCuban and Modern. But that does not stop it from giving me a good workout – and making me feel more uncoordinated than anything except perhaps hip-hop.
I love the isolations done in belly dance, but I never feel like I get enough drilling in class. That is, I always feel like we learn the little pieces and then string them together so quickly that I am a messy jumble of half-executed movements. I remember what my arm is doing but forget to lift my chest. I lift my chest but find that my lower abs didn’t engage. I engage my lower abs and forget where to put my foot. I take the right step, but oops, where is my arm? It will just take practice to be able to do all of these things without consciously keeping track of them. To remember that I need to keep my chest up and shoulders back, rather than using the forward chest energy of tango.
I guess we know what I will be doing as I plant myself in front of the mirror this week.
The funny thing about belly dancing, for me, is that the movement really does sink in. At some point, certain things just click. I guess all dancing is like that – I have had the same moments in tango. I feel like I will never get something right, but a couple weeks later it just slips into place. And there is something so beautiful and individual about belly dancing that I know I will stick with it. I love the isolations, the hip movements, the rolling feel throughout the body … and there is so much room for musical interpretation. I can do it.